Illegal discharge is the unauthorized entry of runoff into a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). The discharge can be either direct (e.g. wastewater pipe connected to a storm drain) or indirect (e.g. infiltration by cracked sanitary systems, spills, or paint or oil dumped directly into a drain). Discharges that enter the MS4 are not treated and flows directly to our waterways picking up pollutants along the way. Pollutants can include heavy metals (i.e. copper, lead, and zinc), oil and grease, solvents, nutrients (i.e. fertilizer), and pathogens (i.e. viruses and bacteria). According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), illegal discharge can decrease water quality and be harmful to aquatic, wildlife and human health.
SOURCES OF ILLEGAL DISCHARGES CAN INCLUDE:
If you suspect an illegal discharge, find out how to Report Pollution HERE